Before you get your cartilage piercings, get all your information of the different types of ear piercings here! This guide includes information about the most common cartilage piercings including the helix, forward helix, daith, conch, rook, tragus, anti-tragus, snug, orbital and industrial piercings.
You want the end result of your ear curations to have piercing jewelry that compliments each other, your ear shape and reflects your personal style. Look no further here's everything you need to know, including the perfect jewelry for your piercing, healing times and what to expect while your cartilage piercing heals. Let’s talk about different types of cartilage ear piercings!
Firstly what is a cartilage piercing? a cartilage piercing describe any ear piercing on cartilage. Cartilage is much harder to pierce than the skin, so these piercings usually take longer to heal and are more painful relative to lobe piercings. These piercings take longer to heal and are relatively more painful than lobe piercings. Common cartilage piercings include helix, forward helix, daith, conch, rook and tragus piercings. Some less common ear piercings are the anti-tragus, snug, orbital and industrial piercings.
What is the difference between cartilage and helix piercings?
Often people confuse helix and cartilage piercings. Cartilage piercings refer to any ear piercing on a piece of cartilage. Whereas helix piercings are cartilage piercings, since this piercing is done on cartilage. Here’s what you need to know about the different types of ear piercings.
LOBE PIERCINGS: Lobe piercings are the most popular piercings, this classic choice works well with many styles, such as like dangle, hoop, or stud. Generally lobe piercings are not considered cartilage piercings because they are pierced on the fleshy part of the ear!
HELIX PIERCINGS: This sits in the cartilage of the upper section of the ear, often near the very top. With a unique and spunky style, hoops work really well here as they stand out on both sides!
TRAGUS PIERCINGS: Just below the daith piercing location is a small thin area; this is where tragus piercings are done. There is a small thin piece of flesh that rules on the other side of the ear that can also be pierced; this is often called anti-tragus. Both locations are small and work best with styles such as studs or barbells.
CONCH PIERCINGS: This is a cartilage piercing underneath the snug earring area, named after the “conch” seashell look of the middle ear. Usually this area has a hoop earring that runs from the inner to the back of the outer ear.
DAITH PIERCINGS: This piercing is located where the outer rim of the ear merges with the side of your head. Since this is a tiny piece of cartilage, smaller barbells are a popular choice. Some even believe this piercing helps clear migraines!
FORWARD HELIX PIERCINGS: The main difference between this and the regular helix is location. The forward helix is on the lower part of the outer rim of the ear that runs closer to your head. Since this is a smaller location, studs are a popular choice since they do not interfere with hair due to their size.
ROOK PIERCINGS: In the upper area between the helix and forward helix is a thin layer of cartilage. This is where rook piercings are located. Since this is a more compact area, tiny barbells are the most popular choice.
INDUSTRIAL PIERCINGS: A double piercing located in the upper ear cartilage. This is an extremely distinctive location, as it requires two separate piercings on the top and side of the ear while also showing the bar running inside the inner ear.
ORBITAL PIERCINGS: Orbital piercings features two holes connected by one piece of jewellery, but instead of being pierced with a bar, it uses a tiny hoop. The orbital piercing is similar to the industrial piercing in that it is a double piercing, usually circular, (hence the “orbit” name) that is often located on the fleshier parts of the ear above the lobe.
SNUG PIERCINGS: Going deeper into the ear under the outer rim is a layer of inner cartilage. This is where snug piercings are done; since this area has a bend we recommend a curved barbell.
ANTI-TRAGUS PIERCINGS: The anti-tragus is located opposite the tragus, directly above your earlobe. If you pinch your earlobe, you'll likely feel a triangular-shaped piece of cartilage sticking out above it. That’s the anti-tragus. The anti-tragus piercing is perfect for any one who would like a unique piercing since this area has a bend we recommend a curved barbell or cute hoop.
EAR PIERCING AFTERCARE
After you get your ear piercing taking proper care of your piercing and doing your aftercare diligently is key for optimal healing.
We recommened gentle aftercare. Simple pray the front and back of your piercing with sterile saline solution, 2 to 3 times a day, and rinse it out in the shower with warm water. Avoid using harsh soaps, ointments or creams.
During the first few weeks, some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, and/or bruising is expected. Throughout your healing process, you may also notice some discoloration, itching, and the secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry—this is also normal! The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals. Once your piercing is healed, the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing; do not force it!
The healing process for cartilage ear piercings can be longer than for lobe piercings, often taking several months to a year to fully heal. During this time, it's crucial to maintain proper aftercare:
- Clean the piercing with saline solution or a saline wound wash as recommended by your piercer.
- Avoid touching the piercing with unwashed hands to prevent infection.
- Be cautious with hairstyles and hats that might irritate the piercing.
- Refrain from swimming in pools or hot tubs until the piercing is fully healed.
JEWELRY FOR CARTILAGE PIERCINGS
One of the most exciting aspects of cartilage piercings is the opportunity to experiment with different jewelry styles. Popular options include:
Studs: Classic and versatile, studs come in various shapes and sizes, allowing you to express your style subtly.
Hoops: Hoops, including captive bead rings (CBRs), clickers and seamless rings, can create a bold and eye-catching look, depending on their size and style.
Barbells: Curved or straight barbells are ideal for piercings like the rook and helix, offering a modern and edgy aesthetic.
Cuffs: Ear cuffs are a trendy and non-invasive way to adorn your cartilage without additional piercings, providing a unique and customizable look.
Labret Studs: These studs have a flat disc on one end and a removable decorative top, making them an excellent choice for snug and tragus piercings.
Cartilage ear piercings offer a world of creative possibilities for self-expression and personal style. Whether you prefer the subtlety of a tragus piercing or the boldness of an industrial, your cartilage piercing can be a unique reflection of your personality. Remember to choose a professional and reputable piercer, follow proper aftercare, and select jewelry that resonates with your individual style. With the right care and attention, your cartilage ear piercing will become a stunning and enduring accessory that elevates your overall look.